Don’t Miss Out on your £10 Checkatrade Trophy Final Ticket!

News

In this day and age, £1 0 only goes so far, but this season it could get you into Wembley to watch the Checkatrade Trophy Final.

Ticket sales for this season’s final have been selling fast, with excitement building as Coventry City and Oxford United prepare to go head-to-head on Sunday 2 April for the first time under the famous arch.
Current ticket sales, more than two weeks out from the big day, indicate that the attendance for the final will be one of the highest in the competition’s history with over 60,000 tickets already sold.

Coventry's Jordan Willis and Jordan Turnbull promote £10 junior ticketsOxford United's Chris Maguire and Simon Eastwood promote £10 junior tickets

The £10 ticket price applies for supporters aged 16 and under.
The final has captured the imagination of young supporters from both clubs, with more than 10,000 junior tickets having been purchased to date.

It will be the Sky Blues’ first trip to Wembley for 30 years, but for Oxford, the national stadium is familiar territory, having played in the final of this competition last season, losing out to now Championship side Barnsley.

EFL Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey said: “It has been very encouraging to see how ticket sales have progressed and it is great that so many young fans are coming to watch what promises to be an exciting and competitive final.
“The £10 offer is fantastic opportunity to experience a special occasion at Wembley Stadium, the home of football in this country, and I urge as many of our finalists’ young fans and families to take advantage.”

The two teams have met twice this season in the league, both claiming home victories with Coventry winning 2-1 in October, and Oxford claiming a 4-1 victory the following month at the Kassam Stadium.

Kevin Byrne, Founder and CEO of Checkatrade, said: “We’re delighted that the EFL are offering this fantastic deal to young supporters for what should be a great game of football. As a proud community-driven business, we’re thrilled that youngsters from across the country can experience Wembley at a competitive price.
This is a great opportunity to attend the home of football and we look forward to seeing lots of young supporters at the Checkatrade Trophy Final on Sunday 2nd April.”

Tickets can be purchased via the Coventy City ticket office. For Oxford United tickets, further information is available by visiting www.oufc.co.uk.
For further details regarding the Checkatrade Trophy, please visit www.efl.com/checkatrade-trophy.EFL_CHECKATRADE_TR_P_REG_4CWith 72 member clubs across three divisions, the EFL (English Football League) is the world’s original league football competition. It is the largest single body of professional clubs in European football and is responsible for administering and regulating the Sky Bet EFL, EFL Cup and Checkatrade Trophy, as well as reserve and youth football. The EFL, EFL Trust and our member clubs are at the heart of communities across the country, providing shared experiences for all and using the power of sport to improve lives.

Natural VS Synthetic Carpets and How to Check PH Levels – by Premium Carpet Clean Ltd

Advice

Carpets are a huge part of the decor in your property and can have a massive influence on the first impressions that you will give off when people visit.
Choosing the right carpet can take a long time and can also be quite costly so when you are choosing, it’s always good to understand what they are made from and how durable they are.
For example, you wouldn’t want to pick a delicate carpet for high foot traffic areas.

Choosing the correct carpets first time can increase the length of time that the carpet will last and will prevent you needing to buy another new carpet a few months down the line.
There are so many different types of carpets that you can choose from, all varying in design, texture, colours, patterns and pile length/thickness. However, this doesn’t necessarily matter when it comes to cleaning, the main thing to consider is whether you are buying a natural fibre carpet or a synthetic fibre carpet.

So Premium Carpet Clean Ltd have laid out what the differences between the two are to help you get a better understanding of what one will best suit your needs.

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Natural Carpets
Natural carpets are made from natural sources such as wool which means they tend to look and feel a lot nicer than most synthetic carpets. The fibres in a wool carpet are usually a lot thicker which means that they have a way of bouncing back into shape whereas synthetic fibres fold and flatten considerably quicker.
The natural carpets will stay bouncy and thicker for a lot longer however they are prone to staining and can need a more delicate approach when cleaning. The fibres in Wool carpets if cleaned incorrectly can shrink, change colour and be damaged by the using the wrong cleaning products. The safest option is to ensure that natural carpets are cleaned by professionals so that no damage is caused.

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Synthetic Carpets
Synthetic carpets as the name suggests means that this carpet has been made from artificially produced materials which means that they are usually considerably cheaper than natural fibre carpets.
The most commonly used materials found in synthetic carpets are acrylic and nylon. There are various reasons why these materials are used.
Acrylic is less likely to become stained and doesn’t absorb a lot of moisture which means it is one of the easiest fibres to clean and keep clean. It can also be placed in direct sunlight because it doesn’t fade in the light.
Nylon is known best for its incredible strength and it is very resistant to staining and matting. Seeing as synthetic carpet materials are so easy to acquire and make, the cost of production is a lot lower than the cost of making a natural fibre carpet.

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A professional carpet cleaning company will understand what cleaning chemicals will need to be used on the different types of carpet and they will all test all of your P.H levels before and after cleaning your carpets.

You’re wondering what a P.H level is?
Well we are going to explain this for you too so you know what is safe and what isn’t!

P.H stands for ‘Potential of Hydrogen’. To check your P.H levels, the cleaner will come to your property with equipment including a testing kit.
They will test a strand of your carpet on the strips provided in the kit and determine the readings by the colour against the colour chart.

It’s a measure of the Acidity and Alkalinity of cleaning solutions and is measured on a scale of 0-14.
The levels that they will expect to find after a clean has been completed is a 7.0.  This is the midway reading and confirms that your carpets have been left with a neutral result so nothing has been left behind.
A P.H reading will not identify the capacity of the product but the intensity of the product. For example, using temperature will tell us how hot a item is but not how much heat its emitting.
Any reading below 7.0 tells us that the product contains a lot of acid whereas anything above will tell us that it is high in alkaline.

The reason you are left with your carpets at a level 7.0 (Neutral) because you don’t want to be left with a buildup of chemicals in your carpet. Leaving a higher or lower reading can cause corrosion and damage to the carpets over a period of time.

Written by
Kiril Natov (Premium Carpet Cleaning Ltd. Director)
http://carpetcleaningslondon.co.uk
Checkatrade Customer Feedback
Tel: 07427 306730

A Boiler Guide – Vol.3 – By WPJ Heating

Advice

We are WPJ Heating , a boiler installation company based in London and proud members of Checkatrade.
In our previous two articles, we covered boiler prices and boiler types. Part 3 is a list of ‘Dos and Don’ts’ to help you avoid common pitfalls and ensure you’re getting the job done correctly when having a new boiler installed.

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Do
● Always use a Gas Safe accredited installer or company.
● Get 2-3 boiler quotes from local boiler installer companies. Price, guarantee and quality of workmanship can vary drastically.
● Make sure you have a magnetic filter included in the installation, or at least have a good reason to omit it.
● Make sure the system is suitably flushed to remove sludge and debris at the time of the installation.
● Make sure corrosion inhibitor chemicals are added at the time of completion to protect the new boiler.
● Ensure the installer will cover the surrounding area in protective sheets.
● Make sure the manufacturer’s guarantee and Gas Safe Register paperwork are completed, sent off and logged online.
● Enquire about follow-up care and annual servicing.
● Ask about the relevance of new programmers, pumps, thermostats and other components on the system.
● Expect the old boiler to be properly disposed of.

Don’t
● Use an installer with a conspicuous lack of previous customer reviews. Reviews don’t lie and it’s the one tool you as a customer have to asses if the company is reliable.
● Forget to do your research on the make of boiler being recommended by the installer to make sure it is appropriate.
● Be afraid to ask any questions at all so that you are clear on what to expect.
● Feel you have to hang around all day during the installation. Good firms are tidy and responsible and can be left to it.
● Expect to clean up afterwards or be left with piles of rubbish – This should all be taken care of.
● Pay the balance until you are satisfied.
● Be bamboozled by jargon in the quotes. Get at least three and seek clarity when comparing them.

For more information on boiler prices, read our article for Checkatrade here or visit our website to get a quote for a new boiler installation .

 

A Guide To Home Improvements by Sainsburys Bank

Advice

DIY low-res

Whenever you look at making some changes to your home, there is almost always some confusion about where you should start and how to go about it.

Thankfully, the team at Sainsburys Bank have put together a very helpful Guide to Home Improvements.

This handy little document has hints and tips on everything from improving your existing areas to creating brand new spaces.
There’s also some information on how to make your home more energy efficient.

We hope you find this guide useful but if you discover a job that might be a bit too big to tackle yourself, why not find a reliable trader on Checkatrade.com?
With over 24,000 recommended, vetted and monitored trades…we’re bound to have the right one for you!

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A Boiler Guide – Vol.2 – by WPJ Heating

Advice

We are WPJ Heating , a boiler installation company based in London and proud members of Checkatrade. In this article, we will cover different types of boilers to give you a better understanding of what boiler type suits your property.
Nowadays, all boilers are condensing boilers regardless of the categories listed below. Condensing boilers are more energy efficient and have been made mandatory by the Government since 2005. Gas boilers can be separated into 3 main types. These suit different-sized properties and differing heating and hot water requirements.

Types of Boilers

Combination boilers are perhaps the most prevalent type of boiler in London. These are just “one solitary white box” on the wall. Combination boilers heat up hot water for your taps and showers on demand (i.e. the burner kicks in whenever a hot tap is opened) and they also produce the hot water that circulates around your radiators. Because they don’t take up much space and are perfectly suited to smaller properties and flats, they are often the right choice for London homes.

System boilers can look the same as a combination boiler but must be paired up with a separate hot water cylinder (often in an airing cupboard or tucked away somewhere). This type of set-up takes up more space and may be better suited to multiple bathroom properties or busy family households where there is a larger demand for hot water with baths, showers, washing machines etc. System boilers will also have more independent controls – zone valves to separate different radiator and hot water cylinder circuits, programmers to set timings for these circuits and thermostats to control desired temperatures.

Regular boilers (or sometimes called heat only boilers) also need to be paired up with a hot water cylinder. In addition to the extra zone valves, thermostat and programmer, they also require a circulating pump and sometimes an expansion vessel depending on the circumstances. Regular boilers are often best suited to larger properties also and may be paired up to create larger heat loads.

WPJ Heating have spent 15 years fitting these boiler types into properties of all shapes and sizes.
Get in touch with us for more information and we can offer advice on what is the best solution for your needs.

Central Heating (low)

 

Three top tips when getting a new boiler

1. Get 2-3 boiler quotes from local boiler installer companies. Price, diagnosis and quality of workmanship can vary drastically.

2. Check the guarantee on your new boiler. Guarantee on a boiler often depends on the installer, not only on the boiler manufacturer or type of boiler. Compare installers in your area and their accreditations to get the longest guarantee.

3. Check the company’s reviews. Reviews don’t lie and it’s the one tool you as a customer have to assess if the company is reliable. Companies with bad or no reviews are more likely to give a disappointing service than companies with good reviews. We all operate in different ways and have different standards.

For more information on boiler prices, read our article for Checkatrade here or get a quote for a new boiler installation.

You can find reviews for WPJ Heating by visiting their Checkatrade page.

Seven Questions You Must Ask When Choosing A Tradesperson by Craig Phillips

Advice

When you are planning on undertaking a project within your home, the excitement about seeing the end result can soon become overshadowed by the task of choosing the right tradesperson. Worrying about shoddy work, being ripped off or hidden costs can easily lead to anxiety and for some of us, this can even put us off getting the project started!

 

To help you choose the right person for your next project, check out my top seven questions to ask any prospective tradesperson…

  1. Can I get a written quote?
    Always get the price in writing from your prospective tradesperson, the price should be fairly accurate, though do bear in mind that it is just a quote and should the job escalate, the price will too. Have a chat with the tradesperson and agree that should costs start to change from the agreed price, you will be notified before work continues.
  2. Can you supply customer recommendations?
    Word of mouth is the best advertising there is and if your prospective tradesperson can’t supply customers that are happy to recommend their work, then think twice about using them.
  3. What recent projects have you worked on?
    Try to get a feel for the size and scale of projects the tradesperson has worked on previously. If your project is large or complex, ask how they would manage it and try to find out the approach they would take to tackling the job. The majority of tradesmen also have smart phones and take photos of examples ask to see them.
  4. What will I need to do before work begins?
    At the very least you will most likely need to clear the area of your stuff but check if there is anything else they are expecting you to do before work begins.
  5. Will this be your only project?
    Tradespeople often balance several projects at once, moving from one to the other while waiting for materials or other trades to their bit. If this is the case with your project, chat it through with your prospective tradesperson. If managed properly the process should not interfere with your work, but do find out whether there will be periods where your project will be inactive.
  6. How long will the job take?
    While you will need a level of flexibility (even the best planned projects can throw up surprises), try to ascertain a rough timeline for your project. This is especially important if you need to take time off work.
  7. What if I am not happy with the work?
    Any tradesperson worth their salt will only ever want their customers to be happy with the work they do. If, however, the work done isn’t up to scratch or doesn’t match your brief, you need to know that your tradesperson will remedy the works to both your satisfaction.

Whether it is a new bathroom or a two-storey extension, if you are inviting a tradesperson into your property, you want to be sure they can be trusted, that their work is of the highest standard and that the price quoted is accurate.

An easy way to find a trusted and vetted tradesperson is to find them using Checkatrade’s free and easy to use search facility. Simply type in the trade you are looking for, i.e. plumber or the company name if you know it, along with your postcode and hit search.  A comprehensive range of reputable tradespeople local to your search will appear – helping you to easily find the right tradesperson for your project!

 

This blog was written by Checkatrade Ambassador, Craig Phillips.

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The inspiration starts here…..with a visit to Grand Designs Live

News

ExCel, London 29th April – 7th May 2017

Grand Designs Live, proudly sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements, returns to London’s ExCel from 29th April – 7th May 2017. Running for nine days, the show offers visitors a unique opportunity to see all the latest trends for the home as well as many products never seen before. Based on the Channel 4 TV series, and presented by design guru Kevin McCloud, the event will be packed with over 500 exhibitors, across six different sections where you can take away ideas and inspiration for your very own GRAND design.

Claim your FREE tickets now*
We have teamed up with Grand Designs Live to offer you FREE weekday or weekend tickets to the event!

Simply visit www.granddesignslive.com, follow the link to book your tickets and enter the code CHECKFREE to claim!

2 for 1 tickets**

We have another great deal on offer! Get 2 tickets for the price of 1! Simply visit www.granddesignslive.com, follow the link to book your tickets and enter the code CHECK241 to claim. Or call the ticket hotline on 0844 854 1348.

*T&C’s  Offer valid on standard admission tickets only, offer ends 06/05/2017, tickets must be booked in advance, max 2 tickets per household, non-transferable, print at home tickets only, tickets valid on any one day,  subject to limited availability,  tickets allocated on a first come-first served basis.

**T&C’s – Transaction fee of £1.70 applies per order. Tickets must be booked in advance. Offer ends 06/05/2017. Offer valid on standard admission tickets only. Saving based on the door rate.

Stain Removal Tips by Go For Cleaning

Advice

12
Cleaning associates filth and dirt with the presence of debris and stains.

While garbage can be swept or vacuumed, stains do not give up so easily. To clean a stain properly, you should keep in mind – what material is the stain on, the type of the stain and if it is soluble or not.

There are different types of stains and each type should be approached with caution and with the right detergent – firstly to have an effect and secondly in order not to damage the surface on which the stain is. It is recommended that most stains must be cleaned as quickly as possible because they soak into the tissue and leave a lasting mark. The longer the spot stays, the greater is the probability that it would not easily be cleaned. Under the influence of air, some stains oxidize while others gets darken because of the sun and heat etc.
There are many problems with stains and you should not neglect them. You should be aware that there are no universal preparations despite the ads, which can be used equally successfully for cleaning all kinds of spots so stains should be treated with caution and different kind of stain needs different special treatment.

One of the most difficult to clean is grease. They are absorbed very quickly by the tissues and are quite stubborn. Fresh greasy stain can be recognised – it is darker than the fabric on which fallen but over time, grease becomes more opaque. However they penetrate more deeply into the tissue and if the surface is thinner, they appear on the reverse side.

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The spots on carpet or upholstery are the most difficult to repair and must be cleaned fresh. Try to wash it with cold water several times, and then with hot water. But care must be taken on what fabric you want to clean up, because sometimes spots are obtained from water. For this reason, we recommend you to do a wet test on a more inconspicuous area.

Spots of animal and vegetable fats are cleaned with an organic solvent. These are alcohol and gasoline, which do not dissolve in water. These stains can be cleaned with a brush, but not as a rub, but as a pat. The brush must be soaked with solvent.

For white fabrics safest way to remove stains is to use bleach, but it can be applied only in very few cases. For colored fabrics you can try with a weak solution of bleach, but again, we recommend trying this in a small corner or covered area to check how it reacts with the fabric first. Bleach can be used only for flax, cotton and rayon. For woollens, you can use hydrogen peroxide.
Artificial fabrics should not be processed with bleach, nor with hydrogen peroxide.

After treatment with solvent, you should then repeatedly wash with cold water, to remove it completely and then quickly dry the wet spot.

However if all that looks difficult, you can always turn to a Professional Carpet & Upholstery Cleaners. We guarantee they can treat all type of stains and marks much more efficiently than – “do it yourself project”.

One highly reputable company with more than 260 great Checkatrade reviews is Go For Cleaning LTD – http://www.goforcleaning.co.uk 

This is a recommended Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning Company operating in London and provides the highest level cleaning services. The technicians are friendly and certified. We like to use modern equipment and explain our work confidently and understandable. 100% Satisfaction is Guaranteed!

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You can find out more about Go For Cleaning at http://www.checkatrade.com/GoForCleaningLtd/

We’re Back and Bigger and Better for 2017!

Checkatrade foundation

Jailbreak Logo-01The Checkatrade Foundation and Spirit FM have teamed up again and are promoting their annual charity jailbreak challenge on Sunday, 7 May which is launching today! They are encouraging teams of four to enter and raise money for the Sussex Snowdrop Trust. So why not get some friends, family or colleagues together and have some fun while raising money!

The event starts at Fontwell Racecourse near Chichester whereby teams will be asked to dress to impress and will be handcuffed together before boarding a Richardson’s coach to take them to prison. Last year, we had fairies, jailbird chicks, golfers, safari gear, traffic cones, sailors, neon ravers and more!

MOntage

Teams will then ‘escape’ and be dropped off at a secret and unknown location. You then have to make your way to the ‘hideout’ back at the studios without spending any money or using their mobile phone. The distance is challenging if walking so teams will need to use their wit and powers of persuasion to blag some free transport. Previously, teams travelled back on buses, trains, a boat, quad bikes, motorbikes, classic cars, police & fire vehicles to name a few. Some walked more than others but they all did so well.

All prisoners will also be given a swag bag to help them on their way which will include hints and tips on how to get to the hideout.

Spirit FM will also be presenting live throughout the day, following teams and finding out about your progress. Listeners will be encouraged to give teams some help and phone in when the spot them too! Teams are also advised to use social media too #jailbreak.

The winners will be the first ones back to the ‘hideout’ and prizes are also on offer; Best Route Back, Best Dressed Team, Fastest Team Back and one for the Last Team Back!

It’s just £20 to register and then you are asked to raise £200 per team with all proceeds going to the Checkatrade Foundation which was founded to help those in need, in particular children whether they are abroad, based nationally or closer to home. The Sussex Snowdrop Trusts is a fantastic cause, based locally that provide care at home for children with life threatening illnesses providing nurses and financial help for their families.

Di Levantine, Co-Founder of Snowdrop said ‘we were so delighted to receive so much last year from Checkatrade and it made a huge difference to local families. We were able to take 57 of the families we support out for a family day out to a theme park, which made some wonderful memories. These days are unforgettable for the children, their parents and siblings who also have to cope with so much. It’s the chance to all be together and have fun, something they all really look forward to doing.’

Please go to http://jailbreak.checkatrade.com to find out more and sign up your team or visit Spirit FM’s website www.spiritfm.net.

A Boiler Guide – Vol.1 – by WPJ Heating

Advice

What does a new boiler cost & how can you get best value for money?

We are WPJ Heating, a boiler installation company based in London and proud members of Checkatrade.
We have been installing boilers for over 15 years and would like to share some of our tips and recommendations with you.

Boiler Prices

There are many boiler manufacturers and boiler prices can vary depending on the boiler type, size, performance, quality and guarantee. Typically the price for a new boiler ranges from £800 – £2000. It is a long term investment so it’s important to find out which is the right boiler for your home. Prices can also vary on who you choose to install your boiler.

We choose to work with Worcester Bosch and Valliant as our main suppliers because of the quality of their products and commitment that both companies have demonstrated over the years. A new Worcester Bosch or Vaillant boiler with installation ranges from £1800- £3000.

Top Tip: Always get 2-3 quotes from different boiler installation companies in your area as the prices can vary drastically.

New Boiler Savings

Your current boiler may be costing you money!
The Energy Saving Trust tells us that a modern, condensing boiler can save you up to £350 every year. Investing in a quality boiler can pay off in the long run. See the table below for approximate numbers.

BoilerGuidePrices_Table

We always recommend choosing boilers with a guarantee longer than 7 years. These boilers might be a bit more expensive at first, but in the long run these boilers will workout a better investment as high quality boilers will save you money on your gas bill and will last you at least a decade.

Different installers give different guarantees on the same boiler

It’s important to note that it’s not only the choice of boiler that determines the length of your guarantee. It also depends on who installs your boiler.
Leading manufacturers such as Worcester Bosch and Valliant go through a process of vetting and accrediting installers with different grades and that affects how long certain heating companies can guarantee your boiler for.

For example, we are top level Diamond members of the WAI Scheme (Worcester Accredited Installers) which means that Worcester Bosch trusts us to do an exceptional job with their products. We can therefore give the longest guarantee on their boilers, 8-10 years depending on the type of boiler. If you would choose an installer that’s not a Diamond member, you would get a lower guarantee on the same new boiler.

Three top tips when getting a new boiler

  1. Always get at least 2-3 boiler quotes from local boiler installer companies. Price, diagnosis and quality of workmanship can vary drastically.
  1. Always check the guarantee on your new boiler. Guarantee on a boiler often depends on the installer, not only on the boiler manufacturer or type of boiler. Compare installers in your area and their accreditations to get the longest guarantee.
  1. Always check the company’s review. Reviews don’t lie and it’s the one tool you as a customer have to asses if the company is reliable. Companies with bad or no reviews are more likely to give a disappointing service than companies with good reviews. We all operate in different ways and have different standards.

You can get a quote for a new boiler installation on our website, we will e-mail it to you immediately.

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Watch out for our next installment of Boiler Tips soon on the Checkatrade blog.